“The original plan was for Cristina to have an abortion during the first season. It was my first television show, so I was figuring out how to work in TV,” Shonda Rhimes told Cosmopolitan. She revealed she talked with standards and practices about the storyline, and they warned her about the potential fallout of tackling such a hot-button issue.
“They were just explaining to me how rarely it had been done, how controversial it was going to be, how many warnings they would have to put on the episode,” she continued. “I didn’t know if we were going to last and I didn’t want to do anything that controversial yet, because it felt scary to me before even knowing how the show was going to be received.”
Shonda ultimately changed Cristina’s storyline from abortion to an ectopic pregnancy. The decision wasn’t made lightly. “Sandra was disappointed, I was disappointed, we were all a little bit bummed,” she said.
Six years after the abortion storyline was cut, Shonda decided to finally tackle the issue with Cristina, played by Sandra Oh. The driven, ambitious doctor found out she was pregnant with Owen’s child in the season 7 finale. Cristina has always said she didn’t want children and ended up getting an abortion in season 8, with her husband eventually supporting her decision. At the time, the storyline still caused controversy, but Shonda was more than willing to cover such relevant and important women’s issue. Shonda admitted that she was “in a much different place” and “knew what I was willing to stand up for” by season 8. Grey’s Anatomy is currently in its 13th season.
HollywoodLifers, do you think Shonda made the right call? Let us know!